Biden’s First State of the Union Address Touches on Immigration
President Joe Biden gave his first State of the Union Address on Tuesday, addressing the full houses of Congress in the midst of the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and public concerns about inflation and the economy.
Biden touched on immigration during his address, framing immigration reform as both an economic and liberty issue. He called for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farm workers, and essential workers. He also urged Congress to revise the nation’s immigration laws “so businesses have the workers they need and families don’t wait decades to reunite.”
White House Grants Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians in the U.S.
The Biden administration on Thursday offered temporary protection from deportation to Ukrainians in the U.S. amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The White House announced Ukrainians who had been in the U.S. since March 1, 2022 would receive Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. People who are granted TPS are protected from deportation and granted work visas.
In addition to announcements about Ukraine, the Department of Homeland Security also added Sudan to the list of countries currently eligible for TPS and extended South Sudan’s designation by 18 months.
Koch Groups Launch Campaign For Immigration Reform
The Hill reported this week that mega-donor Charles Koch’s political network has released a campaign to encourage Congress to take action on immigration reform. According to the report, Americans for Prosperity and the Libre Initiative are spending millions on digital ads, mailers, and events to encourage senators to push forth immigration reform as well as additional border security.
USCIS Expands Credit Card Payment Program
USCIS announced this week that it will begin accepting credit card payments for almost all form filing fees using Form G-1450. One exception from the program – Form I-129. USCIS says it will evaluate the results at the end of the pilot program and work toward next steps to expand it further.
USCIS Updates Income Requirements for 2022
USCIS also updated the green card sponsor income requirements for 2022. The minimum annual income now needed for a household size of 2 is $22,887, up from $21,770 for a family of 2. Income requirements go up based on the size of the family and the amounts are also higher for residents of Alaska and Hawaii. To learn more about green card sponsor income requirements, hit the link in our description.